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Water Quality Assessment Authority

In view of the multiplicity of agencies involved in water management in the country, the Ministry of Environment & Forests, issued an Extraordinary Notification on 22nd June 2001 constituting the "Water Quality Assessment Authority" with effect from 29th May 2001.

The Secretariat of the WQAA is in the Ministry of Water Resources. The Water Quality Review Committees have been constituted in the States with an objective to improve coordination amongst the Central and State agencies, review/assess schemes launched/to be launched to improve quality of water resources, review water quality data analysis and interpretation in order to identify problem areas and developing action plans for improving quality on a sustainable basis, identify hot spots for surveillance monitoring and to look into other specific miscellaneous issues related to water quality arising from time to time.

Based on the recommendations of the Expert Committee and Task Force, a Gazette Notification on the Uniform Monitoring Protocol for adoption by all the water quality monitoring agencies has been issued in June 2005. A Working Group has also been constituted by WQAA to deal with issues relating to minimum flows in riverine systems. The draft report of the Working Group was discussed in the 6th Meeting of the WQAA held on 23.05.2008, wherein it was decided that the Group needs to carry out some more studies and to take into consideration any court directions, which are in force and where its non implementation would create legal problems.

In accordance with the decisions of WQAA, the Water Quality Monitoring Committee (WQMC) was also constituted to assist the WQAA in its functions. Ten meetings of the WQMC have been held so far, the last meeting was held on 10.08.2007. The status of progress made by WQAA and WQMC was discussed in the 6th meeting. For preparation of Water Quality Management Plans by various State governments, the guidelines were finalized/ approved during the 6th meeting of WQAA.

In order to make State Water Quality Review Committees more effective and to establish co-ordination among various agencies in the field of water quality monitoring, one workshop at national level and four workshops at regional level have been organized. A national level workshop on development of Water Quality Management Plan (WQMP) for State Water Quality Review Committees (WQRCs) was organized by the CPCB.

Source: National Portal Content Management Team, Reviewed on: 17-02-2011